The Psychological Temperament of Catholic Priests and Religious Sisters in Italy: An Empirical Enquiry

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 29
Leslie J. Francis
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Giuseppe Crea
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This study draws on psychological temperament theory (a development from psychological type theory) to map the characteristics of 95 Catholic priests and 61 religious sisters in Italy, who completed the Francis Psychological Type Scales. The data demonstrated a strong preference for sensing and judging (the Epimethean Temperament, SJ) among both priests (71%) and religious sisters (61%). In their study of religious leadership, Oswald and Kroeger characterised the SJ preference as ‘the conserving serving pastor’. The implications of these findings are discussed for leadership strengths and weaknesses in the Catholic Church.

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